Skip to main content
7:00 pm
address unknown. talk about duelling headlines. is it gadhafi dead duck or no go on mo. will they stick to no fly zone or take a swat period fly in the ointment. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> thanks very much. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. "john king usa" starts right now. >> thanks. good evening, everyone. tonight anti-aircraft flyers echo in tripoli as the u.s. and its allies attack moammar gadhafi's infrastructure. the anti-gadhafi opposition collective bargainingates the intervention but says it needs more help including more air strikes as it tries to retake key cities in eastern libya. president obama said regime change in libya is his personal goal but the president stresses it's not an objective of the
7:01 pm
military campaign and says the united states is already stepping back into more of a support role and letting other countries police the no fly zone. >> because it relieves the burden on our military, and relieves the burden on u.s. taxpayers to fulfill what is an international mission and not simply a u.s. mission. >> but some leading members of congress complain the president hasn't spelled out a clear mission and say they aren't so sure the fight will be as short as the white house hopes. >> we taught declare war. take a vote. take responsibility. the american people will find this has a long lasting tinge to it, very expense civilian tinge to it. >> more from senator luger in a minute. there are tensions within the nato alliance about what comes next and mixed signals from the arab league. let's take a closer look. on monday 80 sortees. started in the east. making its way to the west.
7:02 pm
80 sortees, half of them were flown by the united states. let's see how this played out. the military began on saturday. on sunday the strikes continued. some attacks on gadhafi ground force. monday we're up to more than 130 cruise missiles. more attacks on ground forces, and as the day played out today also more air strikes. let's go straight to our two correspondents in the key libyan cities. nic robertson is in the capital of tripoli. nic, it to start with you. more than two days of attacks. goal number one is to degrade the gadhafi military. but the sub goal is to rattle the regime. any evidence all this fire power is having any impact? >> reporter: well, they certainly recognize that it's
7:03 pm
designed to rattle them. the building on his palace compound area on sunday, sunday night, that certainly, officials said that's what they think it is, designed to rattle him. when i asked, look, is the question on people's minds is the army going to turn against the leader, is there cracks in the leadership right now and repeatedly told no there aren't. the senior government official i met with a little while ago seemed actually quite relaxed and at ease with the situation. he understood the nuances of what was happening which is better perhaps predicting than what we are what they will expect in the next couple of days. so i don't get the sense that this is a regime that's about to crack, john. >> if the regime is not about to crack what does the opposition want now? obviously they welcomed these air strikes and welcomed the no fly zone. do they have specific targets now in mind as they not only
7:04 pm
regroup but march and retake those cities they had lost? >> reporter: well, they want to see a continuation of the air strikes, obviously, because of the simple impact that it has had, at least in this area of degrading gadhafi's military capability. the air strikes we saw here sunday morning brought that military machine to a grinding halt. we counted 70 damaged vehicles. the population here are very grateful. they are trying to regroup and retake back those key cities. they are trying to swing around and take control of brega. they want to go all the way to tripoli and bring gadhafi down for themselves. >> nic, when the regime hears that and they understand what's happening the united states and allies is trying to soften up the gadhafi military, what is the sense if tripoli is to have a regime.
7:05 pm
is the regime and i sense to regroup to wait for it on that end? >> reporter: what they are trying to figure out at the moment is where does the front line become de facto on the ground? that is how far back is the coalition air force going to push gadhafi's army? will they target it past the next town after benghazi or target it after brega or go to the next town which is another important oil town, et cetera, et cetera, going along the coastline. what we've heard from the british prime minister today is that the government forces have to pull back from benghazi. if that's the case, if that's where the de facto front line between the two sides becomes, i think that's something the government, obviously, doesn't want, but it's something it can sort of deal with psychologically. what it wants to know is the
7:06 pm
coalition air force effectively going to become the air wing of the rebels on the ground, and you will fine them and he'll find them protesting if that's what they thing is emerging beyond the protest we hear from them already, they will start to to counts that point and try to make that very clear. to that end they will be calling on lots of families here to take a walk from, along that road towards benghazi to see if the coalition will protect them. i think that's what the government is looking at here. that's their expectation of trying to assess the calculation of how far the international community is going to allow the rebels to go, john. >> on the question of how far, president obama was quite clear today. there's some critics here who says he's on record saying gadhafi must go but the president said let's be clear that's his personal opinion and goal down the road but not the goal of the u.s. military. is the opposition okay with that or do they want this military
7:07 pm
opposition to target gadhafi? >> reporter: well, john, we specifically heard from someone exactly on that issue, and they said no, we realize that u.n. resolution does not go so far as to call for gadhafi's removal from power or to have him deliberately targeted. they actually said they would not want to have that be the case. should he end up dying or somehow being in the hand of the coalition that's one thing but they are not looking for him to be deliberately targeted quite simply they say that most definitely is their job. they want to be the ones to go after him. they want to be the ones to either kill or capture him. if they do capture him they want to be the ones that make sure he end up seeing his day in court. john. >> stay safe to you both. continue your great reporting. thank you. we spent some time last night telling you what the early targets would be.
7:08 pm
they are these. the purple circles are the longer range missiles go about 150 miles. the smaller circles controlled by the gadhafi regime. the army general coordinated this role claims major progress in destroying the regime surface to air missile and anti-aircraft capabilities so, much so, general carter ham says the no fly zone will extend across the northern major cities of libya. but regime change is not his concern. >> i could see accomplishing the military mission which has been assigned to me, and the current leader would remain the current leader. >> the white house correspondent ed henry is traveling with president obama in chile. the president took pains to separate the military action and
7:09 pm
>> i have stated it is u.s. policy that gadhafi needs to go. we have a wide range of tools in addition to our military efforts, to support that policy. >> do they really believe in the white house that if gadhafi can with stand the military barrage, that sanctions will two, three, four, eight weeks down the road get him to quit? >> reporter: well, you know, technically the president is accurate that there's two different tracks going on as you exactly laid them out. that on one hand there's a military mission, the president is right, it's narrowly defined. by that u.n. mandate to deal with the humanitarian crisis, saving the civilians. it's not about regime change. there's a second track, trying to tooighten the noose around gadhafi. politics is not about
7:10 pm
technicalities. the bottom line is that if gadhafi does not go after this bombardment it will be difficult for the president, the u.s. and its allies to sell this as a victory around the world if gadhafi is sitting in power thumbing his nose at the u.s. and its allies. >> the president inherited iran and afghanistan. this is the first time he ordered offensive military actions against a sovereign nation and in this case the president was overseas when he did it. how does the white house factor into how they think this will go over with the congress and the american people? >> reporter: they know it's hurting the image, perhaps of the mission because it looks like the president, you know, headed out of town, and wasn't there in the estimation of lawmakers not just on the republican side but on the democratic side wasn't there to fully consult. they said on friday the president was in the situation
7:11 pm
room with leaders of both parties. on saturday white house aides were phoning up congressional leaders. there's been intense work going on behind-the-scenes. the president has been on the phone with the king of jordan. vice president biden has been making calls to kuwait and algeria. they are working intensively behind-the-scenes to fix it. >> ed henry tonight with the president in chile. still ahead, the radiation emergency at japan's fukushima nuclear complex. is the president defining the mission in libya and does he need the doing declare. senator luger helps us next. stie to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at... today.
7:12 pm
like the other stuff, diet snapple has healthy stuff. [ horn honks ] and tasty stuff. we just took out the calories and stuff. so who comes up with this stuff? i do. ooh! now who wants some free stuff? [ all ] me! snapple. the best diet stuff on earth.
7:13 pm
we're with you when you're saving for your dreams. [ woman ] when you want a bank that travels with you. with you when you're ready for the next move. [ male announcer ] now that wells fargo and wachovia have come together, what's in it for you? unprecedented strength, the stability of the leading community bank in the nation and with 12,000 atms and thousands of branches, we're with you in more ways and places than ever before. with you when you want the most from your bank. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far.
7:14 pm
the use of american military fire power in libya is igniting a long standing and passionate debate about presidential powers. president obama sent this letter to congress today saying the use of force was well within his rights as commander in chief. as a senator he took a different view arguing unless the united states was facing an immediate threat, the president, any president should get approval from conditioning before using
7:15 pm
force. some on capitol hill are making that case now. what is the president trying to accomplish now? senator luger, let me start with what i would hope would be a simple question to understand. do you understand clearly the mission in libya? when will we have success? >> no, i do not understand the mission because as far as i can tell in the united states there is no mission and there are no guidelines for success. that may will be true with our allies, although conceivably they may have other missions in mind and simply trying to get security council clearance to proceed. >> when you asked the white house for clarification, what's the answer? >> there is no answer. there's simply the thought the president gave to congressional leaders on friday that no boots on the ground, no aircraft over, and he said it's days not months. now that's not an answer to any
7:16 pm
of these questions. >> do you believe the united states is leading here or is the united states being dragged along by europeans who might have a more muscular, more aggressive position than the president does? >> it would not appear we're leading. the fact that president sarkozy called a meeting of the heads of state and gave a major press conference, an announcement that activity was going to occur, and we clearly are in a very supportive role and, apparently have decided to have a very limited role. >> your comments, some of your comments will run by the chairman of the committee, senator john kerry. he said senator lugger is a wise counselor on these issues. we're not policing libya we're engaged and i humanitarian initiative. >> that's one definition of why we sent the 110 tomahawk missiles. >> have you ever seen tomahawk
7:17 pm
cruise missiles used and i humanitarian sense? >> only in the broad sense it would knock out aircraft facilities. if moammar gadhafi was going to use aircraft to bomb opposition people he would be denied that opportunity. as it stands, as far as we can tell, moammar gadhafi is not only alive, but is in control of tripoli. likewise, a great number of cities, apparently the government still in control in other places, so-called rebels appear to be in control. and all of the people seem to have guns. and other armament and frequently firing at each other. people are being killed. the question is how do you stop the killing, i suppose. and furthermore, after you do, who do we recognize? do we recognize gadhafi who is still there after all this time or do we take further action to depose him, literally to eliminate his regime? that is not at all clear. in fact, it's hardly been
7:18 pm
discussed as far as i can tell. >> you don't seem to think that there's a solution, a clear at least political solution in the foreseeable future here? >> think there may be a vague hope that due to the fact that there appear to be allies including the united states of america involved, that moammar gadhafi would step aside, would leave with his sons and his people, that by and large then would emerge a group of people to roughly characteristic of the rebels and the various dissident groups in the city, we can organize them so we have someone to deal with at that point. absent there being a plan for gadhafi to go, merely calling for him to go does not appear to have been impressive. >> do you consider what's happening now an act of war by the united states? >> yes, it is. the president has indicated he believes that he's within his
7:19 pm
constitutional rights and very limited scope of what he's suggested namely support of other countries in this respect. but nevertheless american armed forces are at work. we fired the tomahawk missiles. we offered background support to the aircraft of the french and british. and in my judgment, if we're not on the edge of an act of war, we're close enough that the president really ought to have a debate in the congress, ought to have, on behalf of the american people, a very clear definition of why american forces are going to be at risk, what the objectives are so we can claim success literally on having to find what we're about. >> how would you have handled the conversations of this differently. i believe it's the first time the united states launched weapons in a foreign country when the president was overseas. do you think how it was explained both to congress and the american people could have and should have been handled
7:20 pm
differently? >> of course it should have been handled differently. i won't criticize the president's trip to brazil. i think it was very important that he finally make this trip to brazil and other important south american, latin american countries who feel overlooked and they are important to us. but i think at the same time, it comes with the congress recess. the president out of the country. and the fact that the mission was not defined at all as far as i can tell to begin with in terms of its objectives and what we do next in any of the cases. apart with the relationship with everything else going on with governments under fire in the middle east. so that does require concerted effort by the president and the congress and the american people to come to grips with this and decide as a matter of fact what kind of sacrifices we're prepared to make over what period of time. >> senator richard luger, the ranking republican on the senate foreign relations committee.
7:21 pm
thank you for your time. let's go to dana bash. let's start with senator luger. he was a skepticic to begin with. he thinks this can go on a lot longer than the president said. is that view shared across parties and across capitol hill? >> reporter: it is. to be fair, senator luger has definitely been the loudest and consistent critic of having a no fly zone at all. but to answer your question. when he said do i not under the mission because as far as i can tell in the united states there's no mission or guidelines for suck that's mantra from republican leaders and that's what we're hearing from the president's fellow democrats. define this mission. tell congress about it. tell the american people more importantly. >> so, the administration says we have been briefing you. the administration says this is a trademark tradition, congress always complained not being consulted enough. what specifically do the members
7:22 pm
want from the president and from the administration now? i know chairwoman of the house of the foreign affairs committee said come and give us a speech. what more do they want? >> reporter: give a peech to the joint session. come back from your trip abroad now. you mentioned the letter that the president said, this is it, that he sent this afternoon. he says this is consultation. part of the issue as you heard a little bit from senator luger isn't just consultation with congress it's getting permission. we heard from the loudest critic, dennis kucinich thinks this is an impeachable offense. other stark language we're hearing from the president's fellow democrats he dealt a devastating blow to our checks and balances. whether there will be a congressional resolution that's unclear. really that depends, john, on how far and how long this military action goes in libya. >> i suspect it depends on how i want goes in libya no matter how long it goes, how it goes.
7:23 pm
dana, thank you. what do these new infrared damages tell us about the fukushima nuclear plant in japan. and here's where the diet stuff happens. like the other stuff, diet snapple has healthy stuff. [ horn honks ] and tasty stuff. we just took out the calories and stuff.
7:24 pm
so who comes up with this stuff? i do. ooh! now who wants some free stuff? [ all ] me! snapple. the best diet stuff on earth. ♪ ♪ one, two, three, four ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way ♪ do, do, do, do should i bundle all my policies with nationwide insurance ? watch this. on one hand, you have your home insurance with one company. and on another hand, you have your auto with another. and on another hand, you have your life with another. huh... but when you bundle them all together with nationwide insurance... ... they all work together perfectly-- and you could save 25%. wow... it's all in the wrists. ♪ nationwide is on your side
7:25 pm
7:26 pm
using force in libya was not the president's first choice or his first instinct. at the beginning of the crisis the united states was a voice of
7:27 pm
caution and as france and others suggested military force might be necessary, let's go back to february 23rd, the violence had begun in libya and the president said his number one goal, stop the shooting. >> the libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence. to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need. and to respect the rights of its people. about a week later french president had already called for gadhafi to go and this coke from the united states. >> going forward we will continue to send a clear message. the violence must stop. moammar gadhafi has lost legitimacy to lead and he must leave. >> today the president said tried to make an important distinction his personal goal and goal for gadhafi to go. that's not in the united nations endorsed military intervention. >> it's u.s. policy that gadhafi needs to go. but, when it comes to our
7:28 pm
military action, we are doing so in support of u.n. security resolution 1973. that specifically talks about humanitarian efforts. and we are going to make sure we stick to that mandate. so, how has the president handled this crisis and is this coalition already cracking? david gergen has advised four u.s. presidents. nick burns i want to start with you. one of the things that the president said, there was unanimous support for this military action. we know that's a bit of a stretch. china and russia didn't use their veto power but they are opposed to it. vladimir putin criticized it. china criticized it. is this coalition cracking in its early days? >> i think the coalition was cracking last week. you didn't have a unanimous
7:29 pm
decision last week. britain and france was the one who wanted us to go in. i think that the unfortunate aspect of this for the administration they made a decision ten days ago not to go in. they turned on a dime just mid-last week to decided at the instigation of britain and france and surprisingly day rab league they would go in, and it hasn't been sufficiently explained to the american people, the congress or the mission has been clarified. what is it that we're trying to do? the president made this distinction today between our policy that gadhafi should leave and the u.n. resolution to serve civilians. we've intervened in a civil war. we attacked armored columns and the personal compound of moammar gadhafi. we're an actor in this war. we've chosen sides. that's the way the libyan people see it. that's the way the gadhafi sees it.
7:30 pm
that's the twa rebeway the rebe it. >> david address what we just heard from senator luger. he's not a partisan. he said the president doesn't have a clear plan, doesn't have an exit strategy, he thinks this will go on a lot longer than what the president says. >> nick burns described the general problems very well and that was the administration really didn't want to go into this. they were dragged in not only by the british and french but by events on the ground and then they made this head snapping turn in policy and as a result it was cobbled together very quickly. and there was a lack of clarity as the mission started. i do think we got more clarity today, john, from the president about what the overall goal is and i think the distinction he's making while it is convoluted is one that makes sense and that is that the military mission is to stop gadhafi but the policy of the united states is to get him
7:31 pm
out. they see that coming through sanctions and other squeezes. then we get into the murky part and nick has alluded to this. do we want the rebels to win? it's not clear whether we would be satisfied if things just end in a stalemate. will we recognize as senator luger asked will we recognize the rebels as a legitimate government. where will this go if we had the stalemate, the country becomes divided. that's an unacceptable solution for united states and most of the other countries on the outside and i don't know what our policy is under those circumstances. >> it's a great question. southeast president's critics say if there's a stalemate and gadhafi is there in two or four or eight or ten weeks what does it say about the united states. does it make the president look weak? the president was almost bragging the united states took a lead in the early days and now we'll step back and let others take the lead. let's listen. >> obviously, our military is
7:32 pm
already very stretched and carries large burdens all around the world and whenever possible for us to be able to get international cooperation, not just in terms of words but also in terms ever planes and pi lots and resources, that's something that we should actively seek and embrace because it relieves the burden on our military and it relieves the burden on u.s. taxpayers to fulfill what is an international mission and not simply a u.s. mission. >> nick, as i was listening to that, he's absolutely right the american people are tired of war, tired of paying for war in terms of the financial cost and human toll. i never heard a president of the united states say we're there but boy are we happy to get in the back seat as quickly as possible. >> well i think it is laudible the president want our european partners to do more. here's the problem, john.
7:33 pm
who has been taking the lead over the last three days? it's been the united states navy and the united states air force. we've knocked out those surface to air missile sites, the radar sites. we've constructed principally the no flight zone and now the no drive zone. to hand this off to our close friends and allies britain and france it will be difficult. the coalition will be challenged. the rebel army will go on the offensive. we leveled the playing field. we took away gadhafi's offensive advantage. when the rebels go on the offensive they will ask for and they are going to expect that the u.s. will fly cover for them. that we'll help them from the air. that's a major policy decision for this coalition. are he neutral. are we for the rebels? it gets back to this lack of clarity on what defines success, why are we there, and how do we
7:34 pm
get out at the end because if we don't have some established specific sense of what victory and success are, we could be there for a very long time watching a protracted civil war between gadhafi and these rebels. it may not end for weeks or months. >> we'll continue this conversation in days ahead and stay in touch with boston you. if gadhafi stays in power will he retaliate. does the unrest in yemen help or hurt al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. an infrared eye in the sky looks down at japan's nuclear crisis. hey, pete. yeah, it's me, big brother. put the remote down and listen. [ male announcer ] this intervention brought to you by niaspan. so you cut back on the cheeseburgers and stopped using your exercise bike as a coat rack. that's it? you're done?
7:35 pm
i don't think so. you told me your doctor's worried about plaque clogging your arteries -- what did he call it... coronary artery disease. that cholesterol medicine he also wants you on -- niaspan? i looked it up online. hey, pete, you waiting for an engraved invitation? [ male announcer ] if you have high cholesterol and coronary artery disease, and diet and exercise are not enough, niaspan, along with diet and a bile acid-binding resin, is fda-approved not only to slow down plaque buildup but to actually help clear some of it away. pete, as kids, i always looked up to you. now, i'm just trying to look after you. [ male announcer ] if you cannot afford your medication, call 1-877-niaspan. niaspan is not for everyone, like people with stomach ulcers, liver, or serious bleeding problems. severe liver damage can occur when switching to niaspan from immediate-release niacin. blood tests are needed to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you have muscle pain or weakness; this could be a sign of serious side effects; this risk can increase with statin use.
7:36 pm
tell your doctor about alcohol use, if you've ever had gout, or are diabetic and experience increases in blood sugar. flushing, a common side effect, is warmth, redness, itching, or tingling of the skin. ask your doctor about niaspan. fight back. fight plaque. niaspan.
7:37 pm
7:38 pm
welcome back. if you're just joining us here's the latest news. overshadowed by events in libya and japan. tim pawlenty said he's forming a presidential exploration committee. an english teacher from virginia, 24-year-old taylor andersen likely is the first confirmed u.s. fatality in japan's tsunami. her fellow teachers said she tried to bike home after teerk. a statement from her parents said searchers identified her
7:39 pm
power. there was no spike in radiation when two of the crippled reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant emitted smoke. there's no health risk from contaminated food in japan. here to talk over the nuclear crisis is a nuclear safety advocate who consults with the vermont nuclear power plant. i want to draw your attention to these intrared images we've received, the japanese government put them out. i want to start with reactor one. these are infrared images. taken from above. you see here the casing the reactor one building and you see the heat signature building the yellow and red. the government says the highest temperature 58 degrees centigrade.
7:40 pm
>> i don't believe the high evident temperature is anywhere near that. what it does show me you'll see sort of like a line, a straight line of hot material. i don't know anything inside that nuclear containment that's a straight line. it's all curves. it shows me that the geometry inside is distorted. it will be harder to cool it because it looks to me like the energy is not in the spot where it should be. looks to me like it's formed a long line and it's not good, but i'm more concerned about some of the other reactor there's. >> let's close this picture down and move it over. i want to bring up reactor two. we don't see as red hot in reactor two as we did in reactor one. heat in the entire building, this is where tepco said there's a possibility of a breach in the coordinate self. what does this picture tell you?
7:41 pm
>> well, in the words that go with that the ministry of defense says the containment vessel is at 262 degrees. and that's 50 degrees above the boiling point of water. that's the containment vessel that's believed to have a crack in it. so water cannot exist inside it because it's at atmospheric pressure as a result of the crack. it tells me the suppression pool is likely dry, and that's the one i would be most worried about, because it seems to me that what you're seeing there is super heated air with no water in sight. >> so, super heated air, a possible breach. what are the risks of trying to going and contain this to get in close what you need to do. >> you know, the vessel at 262 degrees, if you spray water, the water won't even get to the vessel it will begin to vaporize even before it gets there according to the ministry of defense. that one is the, will be the
7:42 pm
toughest nut to crack out of the three of them. nipt to close this down. i want to show you number three because of the signatures we received from infrared. this has more of the red. you see the yellow. more scattered throughout. based on entrepreneur ti mate knowledge on how these are built, what does this tell you? >> i notice that they were scattered about. i'm hoping the scattered is fires and not radio activity scattered been. you know, when those explosions occurred, it's likely that there's oil fires inside there. at best there are oil fires where the radioactivity moved away from where it should be in the core and moved laterally outward. >> we showed our viewers, i want to close this one down. we showed our viewers this satellite image on friday. i know you've studied it some more. when you look at these towers.
7:43 pm
they might look like communication towers or an oil dike. there was some significance to you. explain to us. >> yeah. when the plants were designed after an accident you were supposed to exhaust all the radiation up those towers. and you get an elevated release which allows for more dispersion of the radioactive material. when the fans went out and no radioeleva radioelevate -- radio activity got pumped up. if stead of going up those tax the radioactivity is lying close to the ground. i would expect you see more contamination in the local communities and less of it getting lofted out to sea. >> thank you. we'll have you back another night as this continues. thank you so much. when we come back here, yemen. another middle east leader about
7:44 pm
to fall and if so, what are the terrorism risks? ♪ [ folk pop ] [ man ] ♪ if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't hurt you ♪ ♪ and if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't desert you ♪ ♪ [ continues ] [ announcer ] when it comes to the things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. insurance for auto and home. call or click now for an agent or quote. about his future. he can't say social security... much less tell you what it means. he doesn't know that his parents are counting on the money they pay in. or that the hard earned benefits his grandparents receive... are secure. right now he's not thinking about his future.
7:45 pm
but we are. aarp has been working to preserve social security for more than 50 years. join us in a conversation to strengthen it for years to come.
7:46 pm
7:47 pm
spending a lot of time on libya in recent days because of the military intervention but if you look at the map you see the flashing circles. those are other places in the
7:48 pm
middle east and northern africa where there have been political demonstrations. cnn is told tonight there are negotiations under way in getting yemen's embattled president to step down. the united states is angry at yemen's crackdown against demonstrators but worried about losing an ally who for the most part helped the united states keep tabs on the yemen base al qaeda. >> it's growing resurgent problem. they are embolden. if he has to step aside f-there's a power vacuum what happens next. when i was in yemen i asked the prime minister. the prime minister expressed concern that if there is a power vacuum, apk could step in. >> a little history. if you forget about al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. they were tied to the christmas day detroit plane bombing attempt. the fort hood shooting suspect was doing the readings in some
7:49 pm
connection to al qaeda as well as the times square bombing attempt. let's discuss this further with our national security analyst david bergen and robert kagan. if the president of yemen agrees to step down, peter, does it help or hurt or do we not know? >> well, the devil that we don't know is worrisome. so the president has run yemen for the last 32 years. he's been quite cooperative with staying calm, united states military generally. we have an agreement that there are special forces about 70 special force in yemen doing, operating pretty low key, obviously. so would that agreement stand ainu yemen? who knows. the fact is that, with that said, he's run an incompetent
7:50 pm
government to allow al qaeda to exist which is why we need to be there. >> when you look at this map, president says libya, gadhafi is shooting his own people, united nations should get together. you could make the case the yemenis and bahrainis have been shooting their own people. do you have to look at the map and do countries matter more than others when it comes to vital u.s. national security interests and maybe you make different decisions? >> you make different decisions based on circumstances. it is not clear this is a one size fits all situation. i think the libya circumstance where you had an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe at a large level was really important. by the way, important not for idealistic or moralistic regions but where the united states and others stand will have a big impact on how we are viewed in that region and will affect policies that occur in yemen, bahrain and elsewhere. >> we think of it as an arab spring.
7:51 pm
we think of people repressed for years getting to finally speak their minds, but is there a risk? if you have a shiite majority not only will that disturb the saudis, but it helps in yemen. is there a chance if we have a stalemate in libya and the opposition tagss half the country. gadhafi keeps tripoli. will he try to finance terrorism against the united states, against great britain and france, the allies in the coalition? >> or will al qaeda, which has had some small foothold in eastern libya, for instance 40% of the suicide attackers in iraq in 2007 came from eastern libya according to to al qaeda's own internal documents. countering that the libyan islamic fighting group, the al qaeda affiliate there, has rejected al qaeda's ideology but
7:52 pm
they tlooi on failed and failing states. any chaos is good for them. >> and yet this is unfolding, like it or not. what can a president of the united states do? what can nato do to not putt put fingerprints on it but help reasonable voices step forward? >> i think the search for an option where we get the result we want, that would be delightful. i think it's unlikely. right now the president has stated very clearly on several occasions including today that gadhafi must go. he's right. a gadhafi that stays will be the risk we talked about. therefore the united states, nato the arab league and others have to ensure that doesn't happen. that isn't an acceptable outcome for the united states. >> over the years, peter, we have had dark conversations about horrible events in the world but you are an optimist. i want to read what you wrote on
7:53 pm why libya 2011 is not iraq 2003. absent from the protests is the burning of american flags. that's because arabs have been able to express that their biggest enemy isn't the united states but their own rulers. that's an encouraging sign today. >> sure. >> but there is a question mark about where we go fm. >> always. al qaeda is not an accident that so many people are from egypt, yemen or saudi. these repressive dictatorships, revolutionary jihadism flourishes. also, this is the death knell of al qaeda. no one is carrying his picture. they are not part of the conversation. that's the good news. >> do you have any doubt about that? >> that's the most encouraging thing about this.
7:54 pm
>> the death knell of al qaeda? >> i don't know if it is. that's probably -- i don't know what year that occurs but it is not good for al qaeda. we should learn our lesson from this. one thing we ought to have learned is sticking with the one-manle rule dictatorships puts us out of touch with the people. we are worried about what's next in part because we haven't bothered to make contact and we have to learn to live with that. >> i will ask you, can the president walk the balance? he wants regime change but that's not what the bombs are about. >> the bombs serve many purposes at the same time. it would be a mistake for the president now to pull back and say, we have done whatever we are going to do. let's see what happens. i don't think we have the option. we have to continue to use the forces we have in place under the u.n. mandate to help the opposition and ensure that gadhafi doesn't survive this. >> do we have a moral obligation if we are with you on day two, three, four and five do we have
7:55 pm
to be there on day 200? >> i don't think we want a rerun of george h.w. bush when he said rise up against saddam and we didn't do anything about the revolution that took place and allowed saddam to supress it. >> appreciate you coming in. when we come back we'll break it down on the map what's happened over the last three days with the military intervention in libya. cowha countries are participating and what weapons are being used? the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at to enter without a blue onstar button. hey what's going on? doing the shipping.
7:56 pm
man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
7:57 pm
but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at plus, get the best deal or we'll pay you $1,000. call lending tree at... today. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to learn... so products get routed to where they're needed most. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... so they can tell headquarters when they need refilling. ♪
7:58 pm
in here, money works smarter... so financial institutions can turn dreams into realities. in here, medical history is brought to life... so doctors can see a patient's medical records -- even if they're away from home. it's more than advanced technology. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the rethink possible.
7:59 pm
you may know i moonlight. tonight at 11:00 p.m. true nba, a magazine program about the nba. fabulous pieces in that tonight if you need a break from the war and nuclear news. let's close with a look at what's happened in libya over the course of the past few days once the international coalition decided to launch military action. watch this play out. saturday the first strikes come. cruise missiles, air strikes here. you see them on the coast. sunday air strikes against ground forces. tanks and other troops on the ground. more cruise and air strikes. monday up to 130 cruise missiles and more air strikes, more strikes on ground force as well. all along here along oil imports, key cities and a lot of it targeting the anti-aircraft weaponry of the gadhafi army. that is one way to look at s.
9:39 pm
gadhafi staying in power.

John King USA
CNN March 21, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

News/Business. John King. Daily political news and stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gadhafi 35, Libya 18, United States 17, U.s. 14, Yemen 10, Luger 8, Us 7, Moammar Gadhafi 6, U.n. 5, Tripoli 5, France 5, Japan 4, John 4, Britain 3, United 3, Pete 3, Nato 3, Diet Snapple 2, Best Diet Stuff 2, Nic 2
Network CNN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Port 1234
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec mp2
Pixel width 720
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 6/19/2011